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Thermaltake's Contac Silent 12 CPU cooler reviewed

Cooling Ryzen for $25

Many air and liquid CPU coolers have come out recently for builders exploring an AMD Ryzen system. To capitalize on this renewed interest in AMD-compatible heatsinks, Thermaltake cooked up the Contac Silent 12, a Socket AM4-ready cooler that can snap onto Ryzen motherboards right out of the box.

Image: Thermaltake

The tower-style construction of the Contac Silent 12 features the usual copper heat pipes and aluminum fin stack we expect from air coolers these days. The tower measures in at 6" (153 mm) high and 5" 127 mm wide, just a few millimeters shorter and a bit wider than Cooler Master's evergreen Hyper 212 Evo.

The base plate of the Contac Silent 12 cold plate is made of aluminum. This heatsink uses a direct-contact design, so the copper heat pipes run under the bottom of this plate. The direct-contact arrangement theoretically allows for the most effective transfer of heat away from the CPU and into the cooling fins.

Like most tower heatsinks, the Contac relies on a stack of fins to dissipate the heat that is being transferred away from the CPU by the copper heat pipes. These aluminum fins are each 0.4 mm thick, and they're spaced 2.2 mm apart to allow for optimal airflow.

Thermaltake pairs this cooler with a single 120-mm fan to keep air flowing over those fins. This fan features a low-noise hydraulic self-lubricating bearing for long life, and it can be controlled using a PWM signal from most any modern motherboard for quiet operation.

Despite its wide 500-RPM-to-1500-RPM PWM range, Thermaltake includes a throttling mechanism it calls a "low-noise cable" that builders can use if they feel like reducing any potential racket from the cooler. This cable sits between the fan and the PWM header and reduces the RPM range to 400-1100 RPM.